A young mother in Rechasim is battling cancer but that doesn’t stop the date of her son’s Bar Mitzvah from coming closer and closer. What the family had looked forward to for years promises to be a day of despair. Celebration? How does one celebrate when…when…? And so the days on the calendar rolled on and the Bar Mitzvah was scheduled for a Sunday in mid-April. Bar Mitzvah? One hundred people were invited but there was no joy. Both finances and mood precluded ordering any amenities including food! A bleak celebration indeed. Continue reading Bar Mitzvah Celebration?
In March 2018, Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry facilitated THIRTY lifesaving stem cell transplants – for a total of 2,772 lives saved to date!
Patients were from the following countries:Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, UK, USA
Of these, 23 were from personalized donor pools located in USA, UK, Canada, Israel, Brazil, Switzerland .
Below are the sponsors who saved lives this month, with the total number of transplants done by their donor pool.
ABS Settlement Donor Pool – 10 lives saved!
Adiram Donor Pool – 1 life saved!
Anonymous CF Donor Pool – 12 lives saved!
René & Susanne Braginsky Donor Pool – 3 lives saved!
Brazil Community Donor Pool – 126 lives saved – 4 this month!
Damaghi Family Donor Pool – 45 lives saved!
El-Ad Modiin Community Donor Pool – 1 life saved!
David & Sara Farajun Donor Pool – 102 lives saved – 3 this month!
Hole In One Donor Pool – 36 lives saved – 2 this month!
Hope4Adam Donor Pool – 3 lives saved – 2 this month!
Charles Kushner Foundation Donor Pool – 7 lives saved!
Michael & Evelyn Levy Donor Pool – 1 life saved!
Neal & Nicci Menashe Family Donor Pool – 2 lives saved!
Israel & Edith Pollak Donor Pool – 15 lives saved!
Ira & Ingeborg Rennert Donor Pool – 136 lives saved!
Sakhaie Family Donor Pool – 1 life saved!
The many tragedies that Rabbi Chollak, founder of Ezer Mizion, is exposed to in the course of his work did not immunize him against the personal tragedy that struck: About three years ago, Leah, his wife and the mother of his sixteen children, passed away after battling cancer. She was 57. From the start, the doctors had said that for her kind of cancer, you can usually stretch things out for about eight years. Sadly, it did not take even that long; she died a little over a year later.
“I have been asked difficult questions,” says Rav Chollak, “For instance: You and your wife took care of so many sick people, and now, she herself succumbed to the illness. Do you feel any anger? Continue reading Behind the Scenes at Ezer Mizion with its Founder, Chananya Chollak Part 3 of a Three Part Series
We stood at the door, needy and poor
Searched for words, but none would appear.
For you, Leah, mere words could never express,
Just a hot and glistening tear.
For whatever we’d say, any words we’d outpour
You were so, so much more…
You were so, so much more…
A mother and daughter, sister and wife,
Your “flock” always there at your side,
With devotion and will, and always so calm,
Your children you gently would guide.
You had such a pure and pleasant demeanor,
Your genuine joy captivated.
You knew to be silent, even in pain,
A true inner wholeness radiated
I felt your strong image obligating us all,
For we saw a life story of courage,
A tale – short, yet long – from which we must learn,
An epic to urge and encourage.
I saw your figure arousing, demanding –
So simple, yet sincerely so pure.
Teaching: What value has a transient world
Versus Torah heights that endure?
I merited seeing how one can and must
Live with rivers of flowing love
For every mitzvah, for each creature,
And for the Creator above.
I had a walking textbook before my eyes,
Of how to feel the pulse of time as it flies.
Pearls carefully strung, pieces of life
Stories too many to count,
You were… You said…
You left us a legacy…
A wondrous lifetime account.
Volunteering at your bedside was a privilege indeed,
Your radiant character inspiring,
Days and nights, how you hoped and believed,
I was awed by your faith, never tiring.
You lay in your bed, wounded and aching,
Your body, in agony and pain
Yet you did all to give a good feeling, a sweet,
Thanking us again and again.
As the sand in your hourglass neared to its end,
You knew how to utilize your time.
To inquire about our new job, a shidduch to suggest,
As if you were feeling in your prime.
Your modesty was rare, O, what a loss!
You were a sacrifice, for the rest to atone.
They surely rejoiced up Above when you came,
But, Leah, we were left here, alone!
We’ve lost mother and daughter, sister and wife,
Our finest, alas, has moved on!
Our heads are bowed, we weep on end,
The “thorns” need their “rose,” but she’s gone…
I know that the prayers and the tears that were shed
Carved into our hearts their impression
They built and transformed, worked wonders indeed,
With their painful, yet penetrating lesson.
For, we, too, want to be pure as were you,
To rise above matter, beyond “why”
And, like Leah, to amass innumerable merits,
To lead a life of truth, to try.
The final lines, the music fades,
The tears are reluctantly dried.
I’ve written and shared, yet my words cannot paint
Your greatness – I’m just not qualified
No, I just couldn’t capture your towering image,
Not your life, nor the secret of who you are.
All we can do is to learn and to yearn
To be like you, though we are so far.
See, Leah, the fruits of your labor,
The light that you kindled still glows
It continues to shine and illuminate
The Kiddush Hashem yet grows.
The paths that you blazed, rare in their beauty
Many more will yet tread them again,
For this path is not far, it’s within our reach
“Yisgadal v’yiskadash shmei rabbah,” Amen.
Can one even begin to imagine the helplessness of being in a plane thousands of feet in the air when the plane is no longer responding to the control mechanisms? You – a tiny speck in the vast sky – and the hitherto dependable controls now no more than bits of disconnected metal and plastic… alone… exposed…powerless. David Ivry, former Israel Ambassador to the United States, the ninth commander of the Israel Air Force and the first director of the Israel’s National Security Council was a man used to being in control. Yet, he tells of his experience in the scenario described above. “It seemed to be all over. Then I remembered I had one chance: the ejection seat. I used it and I was saved.” Continue reading The Boeing Corporation Saves Lives
On the way home from Tel Hashomer this morning, just when I had finished saying, “Thank you,” for all the great mitzvahs that this organization does for us, a song started playing on the radio that could not have been more symbolic for me:
Hallelujah – everyone will sing.
With one, lone word,
The heart is full of tons of gratitude.
It, too, shouts – what a wonderful world!
Hallelujah – with the song.
Hallelujah – for each day that dawns
Hallelujah – for what was,
And for what wasn’t yet – Hallelujah.”
Until quite recently, Ezer Mizion was “just another organization,” as far as I was concerned.
I didn’t really know what they did.
I linked up with them via a co-worker who understood that I was coming from a place of deep frustration.
I explained to them that my father is a cancer patient whose condition is not good and, unfortunately, he cannot get around now. When he needs to go to Tel Hashomer, he has no other means of transportation other than a so very costly ambulance.
On the other end of the line was a nice fellow named Shmulik, with huge patience and a pleasant demeanor. In an instant, my father was added to the Ezer Mizion Transportation Roster and only a quick phone call was needed to bring the nicest, kindliest, most respectful drivers each time transportation was needed. Cost: $0
Even when Abba was hospitalized and we forgot to cancel the transport.
Even when we forget to update some detail.
Even when we canceled at the last minute because our head isn’t on straight due to everything that’s going on.
Even when they had to explain everything to me 80 times over.
Even when it means having to send an ambulance especially for us because we’re not on the route,
Even then, they responded with full understanding, giving us such a good feeling.
So thank you, dear, special people on the other end of the line and behind the steering wheel. Thank you to Shmulik, Danny, and the wonderful girls at the ambulance call-in center and the message reception center. Thank you for being the entire world for people like us, who lose their way a little at the beginning.
November 2017 – Bone Marrow Donor Registry
22 lifesaving transplants
14 from personalized donor pools
2,657 total transplants
877,315 members in registry
Below are the donor pools that saved lives this month, and their total transplants. Continue reading Because of You!
So it goes, until April. The last treatment for the cancer providentially comes out exactly on Yigal’s birthday, the second of Nissan (April). One more little note from Hashem (G-d) showing us that He is holding our hands. Simply and unceremoniously, the old birthday links up with the new birthday, as we plead to live and rejuvenate and truly grow…
Enveloped by parents and all the loving siblings, who have surprised us and come, we take leave of the room that has become so familiar to us over the last few months. Together, we emotionally sing, “Even behind the tough things that you go through – I am standing there.” There are no mistakes in the world. Even when it is concealed from our view – we are being closely watched and cared for… Continue reading The Journey We Didn’t Plan – Conclusion – taken from the diary of Nechama Spielman
Recap: Nechama has been dealing with her husband’s cancer
Hodu La’Shem (thank G-d). The radiation treatments have helped a lot. The tumor has shrunk which qualifies us for surgery. The remarkable precision of the timing gives us a special feeling. We are slated to go in for surgery right after Rosh Hashanah and to come home for Sukkot. Continue reading A Journey We Didn’t Plan Part 3 of a 4-part Series taken from the diary of Nechama Spielman
We’ve landed. We’re now officially residents of the planet called Cancer. For the next few days, we move quickly from one test to the next, trying to obtain a clearer picture. We encounter the state of uncertainty and try to slow down the rapid beating of our heart, the heart that wants to know, to know right now – will he live or will he die? A ton of thoughts are running around inside my head, spinning out of control. Continue reading A Journey We Didn’t Plan Part 2 taken from the diary of Nechama Spielman